Drawing – achieving drama and impact with Maxine Relton

Ref: S5D08934



About this course

Learn how to instil dramatic effect in your drawings. Techniques include accentuated tonal contrast, dynamic movement, surface treatment, extreme convergence and how to create a monumental feel to a small piece of work.

Course Description

Compelling images are what every artist aspires to create. Drawing underpins many different practices and the techniques taught on this course can be applied to all visual art disciplines. Develop your vision and ability to create visual impact in your work, supporting your style, approach or subject matter.

Learn different ways of inventing dramatic impact in your work including accentuated tonal contrast, dynamic movement, surface treatment, extreme convergence and how to create a monumental feel to a small piece of work.

Each theme is explained and Maxine will help you consider how to apply them in your own practice. You will work with your chosen materials and subjects and, through exercises, experiment and resolve issues. You will be supported with demonstrations and inspiration from your tutor. There will be peer discussion, and one-to-one support.

By the end of the course, you will have more understanding and control over ways of visualising and presenting your subject in order to express your ideas with greater impact and confidence.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • The course fee includes the cost of providing some drawing materials to try out, including coloured inks.
  • The College will provide scissors, metal rulers, craft knives and cutting mats, and the tutor will be supplying all specialist materials for specific projects, as well as some spares of basic items that might be needed.

What students need to bring

  • Painting overall
  • Some half-dozen colour magazines you no longer need
  • Any preferred drawing media of your choice, for example coloured pencils, pastels etc
  • Please email bookingsoffice@westdean.ac.uk prior to the course with your subject interests and areas that you would like to focus on during your course; these will be passed to the tutor so that she can then bring specific resources to help you learn and achieve, and answer any questions you might have about the structure, materials and delivery of the course.

Available to buy

  • Sketchbook in the size of your choice or separate sheets of good quality cartridge paper (minimum 160 gsm)
  • Glue stick
  • Pencil eraser
  • A range of pencils up to 8B
  • Watercolour brushes - 1 large round that points well, 1 chisel-end flat brush
  • Fine, medium and broad marker pens
  • Watersoluble colour fibre-tip pens


Maxine Relton

Teaching at West Dean since 2005, Maxine works across drawing, painting, printmaking, bookmaking and mixed media. Exhibits widely, runs a 3-floor gallery of her work in Gloucestershire, included in public and private collections around the world. Trained in London at Camberwell and the Slade. An elected member of the Royal West of England Academy.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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